DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado Parks & Wildlife is now requiring anyone over the age of 18 to possess a valid hunting or fishing license if they want to enter any State Wildlife Areas or State Trust Land areas.
The new regulation goes into effect on Wednesday, July 1.
“Our wildlife officers have seen folks going into these areas and just using them for the purposes they were not intended for,” said Travis Duncan, a spokesperson for Colorado Parks & Wildlife.
According to Duncan, many of the areas have seen an increase in visitors due to more people exploring the outdoors during the pandemic.
Many of them are leaving trash behind, going off trail and disturbing the wildlife.
“Last weekend we had over 300 cars go through the Mount Evans State Wildlife Area. And [officers] notice when they open the gates each year in that state wildlife area – we see the deer, the elk the turkey all get driven off. Whereas before they open the gates, all of those animals are around,” Duncan explained.
If you’re caught without a hunting or fishing license in the area, the penalty is a $100 fine plus $39.50 in surcharges (total: $139.50). You’ll also receive five suspension points on your license.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages more than 350 State Wildlife Areas and about 240 State Trust Lands.
They manage them with funds generated from the sales of hunting and fishing licenses.
To see a full list of State Wildlife Areas and State Trust Lands, click here.